Road to the Kentucky Derby Top 20

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Vekoma

This past week, the Road to the Kentucky Derby concluded with its final two prep races, the $1 million Arkansas Derby (GI) at Oaklawn Park and the $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (GII) at Keeneland.

In Hot Springs, Fox Hill Farms’ Rebel Stakes winner Omaha Beach proved he belonged with this year’s Derby-bound runners with his one-length win over a determined Improbable over a sloppy track. The Richard Mandella-trained son of War Front will van to Churchill Downs and arrive under the Twin Spires on Tuesday afternoon. where he will go through is final Derby preparations. He will be the Hall of Fame conditioner’s first Kentucky Derby Starter since 2004.

Improbable arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday morning, along with Country House and Long Range Toddy, where he’ll be put through his final drills, according to trainer Bob Baffert, be joined by stablemate, champion Game Winner, Kentucky Derby week.

In Kentucky, Owendale captured the Lexington Stakes and picked up 20 points, but with no points previously he won’t make the gate for the Derby. El Camino Real Derby winner Anothertwistafate was second and earned eight points to sit 23. He’d need three horses to defect to make the gate, but his connections indicated they’d train as if they’d make it and if not, plan for the Preakness Stakes (GI).

So pending defections, here are the final point totals for the 2019 Road to The Roses!

(Updated 4/15/19)

  1. Tacitus — 150 points
    Tapit–Close Hatches, by First Defense)
    Owned by: Juddmonte Farms Inc.
    Trained by: Bill Mott
    Ridden by: Jose Ortiz
    Bred by: Juddmonte Farms Inc. (KY)
    Career: 4-3-0-0, $653,000
    -won Wood Memorial Stakes (GII) on 4/6, won Tampa Bay Derby (GII) on 3/9
  2. Omaha Beach – 137.5 points
    (War Front–Charming, by Seeking the Gold)
    Owned by: Fox Hill Farm (Rick Porter)
    Trained by: Richard Mandella
    Ridden by: Mike Smith
    Bred by: Charming Syndicate (KY)
    $625,000 Keeneland September yearling
    Career: 7-3-3-1, $1,121,800
    – won Arkansas Derby (GI), won division of Rebel Stakes (GII)
  3. Vekoma — 110 points
    (Candy Ride–Mona de Momma, by Speightstown)
    Owned by: R.A. Hill Stable & Gatsas Stables
    Trained by: George Weaver
    Ridden by: Manny Franco
    Bred by: Alpha Delta Stables LLC (KY)
    $135,000 Keeneland September yearling
    Career: 4-3-0-1, $788,850
    – won Blue Grass Stakes (GII), won Nashua Stakes (GIII), 3rd in Fountain of Youth Stakes (GII)
  4. Plus Que Parfait – 104 Points
    (Point of Entry–Belvedera, by Awesome Again)
    Owned by: Imperial Racing
    Trained by: Brendan Walsh
    Ridden by: Jose Ortiz
    Bred by: Callaway Stables LLC (KY)
    $135,000 Keeneland September Yearling
    Career: 7-2-1-2, $1,590,400
    – won UAE Derby (GI)
  5. Roadster — 100 points
    (Quality Road–Ghost Dancing, by Silver Ghost)
    Owned by: Speedway Stables
    Trained by: Bob Baffert
    Ridden by: Mike Smith
    $525,000 Keeneland September yearling
    Career: 4-3-0-1, $706,200
    – won Santa Anita Derby (GI)
  6. By My Standards — 100 points
    (Goldencents–A Jealous Woman, by Muqtarib)
    Owned by: Allied Racing LLC
    Trained by: Bret Calhoun
    Ridden by: Gabriel Saez
    Bred by: Don Ladd (KY)
    $150,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sales April 2-year-old in training
    Career: 5-2-2-1, $653,710
    – won Louisiana Derby (GII)
  7. Maximum Security – 100 points
    (New Year’s Day–Lil Indy, by Anasheed)
    Owned by: Gary and Mary West
    Trained by: Jason Servis
    Ridden by: John Velazquez
    Bred by: Gary and Mary West (KY)
    Career: 4-4-0-0, $649,400
    – won Florida Derby (GI)
  8. Game Winner – 85 points
    (Candy Ride—Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy)
    Owned by: Gary and Mary West
    Trained by: Bob Baffert
    Ridden by: Joel Rosario
    Bred by: Summer Wind Equine (KY)
    $110,000 Keeneland September yearling
    Career: 6-4-2-0, $1,846,000
    2018 Eclipse Award winner, 2-year-old colt
    – won Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI), American Pharoah Stakes (GI), Del Mar Futurity (GI)
    – 2nd  a division of Rebel Stakes (GII) at OP, 2nd Santa Anita Derby (GI)
  9. Code of Honor – 74 points
    (Noble Mission–Reunited, by Dixie Union
    Owned by: W. S Farish
    Trained by: Shug McGaughey
    Ridden by: John Velazquez
    Bred by: W.S. Farish (KY)
    Career: 5-2-1-1, $478,820
    -won Fountain of Youth Stakes (GII), 2nd in Champagne Stakes (GI), 3rd Florida Derby (GI)
  10. Haikal — 70 points
    (Daaher–Sablah, by Distorted Humor)
    Owned by: Shadwell Stable
    Trained by: Kiaran McLaughlin
    Ridden by: Rajiv Maragh
    Bred by: Shadwell Farm (KY)
    Career: 5-3-1-1, $373,900
    -won Jimmy Winkfield Stakes, won Gotham Stakes (GIII), 3rd in Wood Memorial (GII)
  11. Improbable – 65 points
    (City Zip—Rare Event, by A.P. Indy)
    Owned by: WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club Ltd. and Starlight Racing
    Trained by: Bob Baffert
    Ridden by: Jose Ortiz
    Bred by: St. George Farm & G. Watts Humphrey Jr. (KY)
    $200,000 Keeneland September yearling
    $110,000 Keeneland November weanling
    Career: 5-3-2-0, $619,520
    – won Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (GI), 2nd in division of Rebel Stakes (GII), 2nd in Arkansas Derby (GI), won Street Sense Stakes at CD
  12. War of Will – 60 points
    (War Front—Visions of Clarity, by Sadler’s Wells)
    Owned by: Gary Barber
    Trained by: Mark Casse
    Ridden by: Tyler Gaffalione
    Bred by: Flaxman Holdings Ltd. (KY)
    $298,550 Arqana May 2-year-old
    Career: 8-3-1-1, $501,569
    – won Risen Star Stakes (GII), won LeComte Stakes (GIII) at FG, 2nd Summer Stakes (GIII) at WO
  13. Long Range Toddy – 53.5 points
    (Take Charge Indy—Pleasant Song, by Unbridled’s Song)
    Owned by: Willis Horton Racing LLC
    Trained by: Steve Asmussen
    Ridden by: Jon Court
    Bred by: Willis Horton Racing LLC (KY)
    Career: 8-4-1-1, $854,459
    – won a division of the Rebel Stakes (GII), won Clever Trevor Stakes at RP, Won Remington Springboard Mile at RP, 2nd Smarty Jones Stakes at OP, 3rd Southwest (GIII) at OP
  14. Tax – 52 points
    (Arch–Toll, by Giant’s Causeway
    Owned by: Reeves Thoroughbreds, R.A. Hill Stable, Hugh Lynch & Corms Racing
    Trained by: Danny Gargan
    Ridden by: Junior Alvarado
    Bred by: Claiborne Farm & Adele Dilschneider
    Career: 5-2-2-1, $326,300
    – won Withers Stakes (GIII), 2nd in Wood Memorial (GII) on 4/6
  15. Win Win Win — 50 points
    (Hat Trick–Miss Smarty Pants, by Smarty Jones
    Owned by: Live Oak Plantation
    Trained by: Michael Trombetta
    Ridden by: Irad Ortiz Jr.
    Bred by: Live Oak Plantation (FL)
    Career: 6-3-2-1, $367,300
    -won Pasco Stakes at TAM, 2nd Blue Grass Stakes (GII), 3rd in Tampa Bay Derby (GIII)
  16. Country House – 50 points
    (Lookin at Lucky–Quake Lake, but War Chant
    Owned by: Mr & Mrs. J. V. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden Jr. & LNJ Foxwoods
    Trained by Bill Mott
    Ridden by: Luis Saez
    Bred by: J. V. Shields (KY)
    Career: 6-1-2-1, $260,175
    – 2nd Risen Star Stakes (GII), 3rd Arkansas Derby (GI), 4th in Louisiana Derby (GII)
  17. Cutting Humor — 50 points
    (First Samurai–Pun, by Pulpit)
    Owned by: Starlight Racing LLC
    Trained by: Todd Pletcher
    Ridden by: John Velazquez
    Bred by: Dell Hancock & Bernie Sams (KY)
    $135,000 Keeneland January yearling
    $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select yearling
    Career: 6-2-2-1, $516,967
    – won Sunland Derby (GIII)
  18. Gray Magician – 41 points
    (Graydar–Burg Berg, by Johannesburg)
    Owned by: Wachtel Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber
    Trained by: Peter Miller
    Ridden by: Joel Rosario
    Bred by: Twin Creeks Farm (KY)
    Career: 8-1-3-2, $584,140
    – second in the UAE Derby (GI)
  19. Spinoff – 40 points
    (Hard Spun–Zaftig, by Gone West)
    Owned by: Wertheimer and Frere
    Trained by: Todd Pletcher
    Ridden by: John Velazquez
    Bred by: Wertheimer et Frere (KY)
    Career: 4-2-1-1, $260,000
    – 2nd Louisiana Derby (GII), 3rd in 2018 Saratoga Special (GII)
  20. Master Fencer — Japan (RTKD)
    (Just A Way–Sexy Zamurai, by Deputy Minister)
    Owned by: Katsumi Yoshizawa
    Trained by: K. Tsunoda
    Ridden by: Hiroyuki Uchida
    Bred by: Katsumi Yoshizawa (JPN)
    Career: 6-2-2-0, $234,392
    – won Fukuryu Stakes for automatic berth into the Kentucky Derby
    – plans for shipping to Kentucky still being arranged
  21. Bodexpress – 40 points
    (Bodemeister–Pied A Terre, by City Zip)
    Owned by: Top Racing LLC, Global Thoroughbreds and GDS Stable
    Trained by: Gustavo Delgado
    Ridden by: Nik Juarez
    Bred by: Martha Jane Mulholland (KY)
    Career: 5-0-3-0, $208,700
    – 2nd in Florida Derby (GI)
  22. Signalman – 38 points
    (General Quarters—Trip South, by Trippi)
    Owned by: Tommie Lewis, David Bernsen & Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek)
    Trained by: Kenny McPeek
    Ridden by: Brian Hernandez Jr.
    Bred by: Monticule (KY)
    $32,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling
    Career: 7-2-2-2, $552,990
    – won Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII), 2nd Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (GI), 3rd Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI), 3rd Blue Grass Stakes (GII)
  23. Anothertwistafate – 38 points
    (Scat Daddy–Imprecation, by First Defence)
    Owned by Peter Redekop B.C. Ltx
    Trained by: Blaine Wright
    Ridden by: Juan J. Hernandez
    Bred by: Pursuit of Success LLC (KY)
    $360,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sales June 2-year-old in training
    Career: 6-3-2-0, $303,505
    – won El Camino Real Derby (GIII), 2nd Sunland Derby (GIII), 2nd Lexington Stakes
  24. Sueno – 32 points
    (Atreides—Class Above, by Quiet American)
    Owned by: Silverton Hill LLC
    Trained by: Keith Desormeaux
    Ridden by: Kent Desormeaux
    Bred by: Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings Inc. (KY)
    $61,000 Keeneland September yearling
    $1,500 Keeneland November weanling
    Career: 7-2-2-3, $310,440
    – won Gold Rush Stakes, 2nd Sham Stakes (GIII), 3rd Louisiana Derby (GII), 3rd Lexington Stakes (GIII)
  25. Bourbon War — 31 points
    (Tapit–My Conquistadory, by Artie Schiller)
    Owned by: Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable
    Trained by: Mark Hennig
    Ridden by: Irad Ortiz Jr.
    Bred by: Conquest Stables LLC (KY)
    $410,000 Keeneland November weanling
    $525,000 Keeneland September yearling
    Career: 5-2-1-0, $202,100
    – 2nd Fountain of Youth Stakes (GII), 4th in Remsen Stakes (GII), 4th Florida Derby (GI)
  26. Instagrand — 30 points
    (Into Mischief–Assets of War, by Lawyer Ron)
    Owned by: OXO Equine (Larry Best)
    Trained by: Jerry Hollendorfer
    Ridden by: Flavien Prat
    Bred by: Stoneway Farm (KY)
    $180,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling
    $1.2 million Fasig-Tipton March 2-year-old in training
    Career: 4-2-0-2, $300,000
    -won Best Pal Stakes (GIII), 3rd Gotham Stakes (GIII), 3rd Santa Anita Derby (GI)
  27. Mucho Gusto – 24 points
    (Mucho Macho Man—Itsagiantcauseway, by Giant’s Causeway)
    Owned by: Michael Lund Petersen
    Trained by: Bob Baffert
    Ridden by: Joe Talamo
    Bred by: Teneri Farm & Bernarndo Alvarez Calderon
    $50,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Select yearling
    Career: 5-3-1-1, $310,800
    $625,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old
    $95,000 Keeneland September yearling
    $14,000 Keeneland January yearling
    – won Bob Hope Stakes (GIII), won Bob Lewis Stakes (GIII), 2nd Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (GI), 3rd Sunland Park Derby on 3/24
Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.

She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.

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